An eagle-eyed charity worker has saved a 14th century brass bowl from being sold for a fraction of its real value.
Shelley Hitch, who works as a valuer for Oxfam, spotted the bowl in the back room of one of the charity’s shops and recognised that it might have more than just a decorative value of £5. Ms Hitch took the bowl to Works of Art specialist, Mark Yuan-Richards at Woolley and Wallis who recognised it as dating from the 1300s and having been made in West Iran during the Ilkhanid period.
Inscriptions on the bowl relate to different owners over the years, and the whole is decorated with gold and silver inlay, only traces of which remain. It was sold in Salisbury on 3rd July, where it fetched a hammer price of £2,000. The auction house is waiving all sellers’ fees so the full amount will go to Oxfam.
Specialist, Mark Yuan-Richards, was pleased to include the bowl in his sale. “We have sold several pieces for Oxfam in recent years, including a micro-mosaic plaque earlier this year that raised £1,300 for the charity. Shelley does a fabulous job in saving these pieces from being sold for just a few pounds. People are extremely generous in their donations to charities such as Oxfam, and it is good to know that they take such care in establishing the value of objects that are entrusted to them.”